If you had a mulligan available to you off the golf course, in your professional life, what would you use it on? Would you change anything important? Would you change your profession, your industry, your work habits or your ethics? I think about this from time to time. Usually after a round of golf at my home course, Swansea Country Club.
I do not know that I would change anything in particular. Sure, there were some mistakes and bumps along the way. But I have grown from them and see them now as an opportunity from which to learn. I love what I do, and I love that I am able to support myself and my family as a change management consultant, entrepreneur, professional speaker, published author, and an executive coach.
But, it took me a while to get here and it sure as hell has not always been easy. I have made sure that I stayed proactive about my career and what I wanted to do. I have always had an eye for roadblocks and I was motivated to blow through them when necessary. Even if doing so left others wondering what in the world I was doing. Simply put, I was not content feeling like I was stuck in the middle. I pushed to be heard and I re-evaluated my circumstances often.
The reason why I personally would not use a career mulligan is because I constantly asked myself on my journey if this is who I want to be and what I want to do. I professionally coach a number of people, and for most of them, their issue is finding how to match who they need to be at work, with who they are and their career aspirations. Once they learn to grow through that, they can start to ask themselves what they want to do to change their circumstances. They can build a career that mirrors who they are and what they believe in. They can get unstuck from the middle.
Getting unstuck is not an easy process nor is it one for the timid; it takes a lot of time, guts, and some serious thought. But it helps you get locked in to what you want to do with your life and it enables you to start taking the steps that will enable you to match your values to your work. There are not many people who succinctly match the two. Frankly, most people just go along for the ride and build a career narrative that suits them out of the words of someone else. And this becomes that low feeling of just never being in the right place in your career. And they wake up one morning, or realize in the middle of the night, that they are firmly stuck in the middle.
This does not have to be you. You have the power to change this reality because all that is holding you back right now from being who you want to be is YOU.
The career mulligan is yours. Take it if you want it. Just make the next shot you take from your career tee box produce a better number on your professional scorecard.